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Old 06-18-2009, 08:41 AM
 
2,707 posts, read 5,367,647 times
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For me, it would be this:

1) Don't breed animals with close family lineages. (No siblings, parent/offspring, etc.)

2) Do genetic testing on the dogs you're going to breed to ensure that they don't have any of the conditions that are "common" for your breed. Things like hip dysplasia and eye issues. Don't breed dogs that HAVE these conditions. (In the case of my dog's breed, I'm especially concerned about epilepsy, which is increasingly common amongst Siberian Huskies.)

3) Insist on keeping the puppies with their mother until 12 weeks of age. Most people sell the puppies at 8 weeks, but those additional 4 weeks with their mother and littermate help teach the puppies a lot about bite inhibition, etc. Mama-dog is often a MUCH better teacher of acceptable and unacceptable behavior than a human who doesn't read or understand or know dog body language, etc.

4) Interview your prospective buyers to ensure that your animals are going to a good home. Specifically, ascertain that the family is aware of the cost of dog ownership, has experience with dogs (or the drive to learn about training, etc.). If you have a breed with a strong personality -- like Rotties or GSDs or Siberian Huskies or Great Danes or whatever -- then try to ascertain if your buyer has done their homework on the breed. All breeds AREN'T the same. Someone who goes to buy a German Shepherd Dog expecting it to behave or interact like a Labrador Retriever is starting off on the wrong foot.

5) Make the buyer sign a contract that indicates that if they have to give the dog up for whatever reason, they'll first contact the breeder before giving the dog to a shelter or whatever.

6) Don't breed dogs that don't fit the standard -- physically OR temperamentally. If the breed standard is a certain weight and height and your dog is just a little taller or shorter, don't breed the dog. If the breed standard is relaxed and friendly and your dog is aloof and bad-tempered, don't breed the dog.

7) Allow the prospective buyers to see the parents of the dog they're buying. Provide prospective buyers with a contact list of other people who have bought dogs from you in the past, so that the buyer can reach out to those people with inquiries about the dog's temperament and health issues.
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Old 06-18-2009, 10:01 AM
 
Location: Mississippi
315 posts, read 979,495 times
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So anyone who profits from the breeding/sale of their dogs is, by definition, an irresponsible breeder?
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Old 06-18-2009, 10:11 AM
 
Location: Cumberland Co., TN
21,865 posts, read 21,707,666 times
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I dont know why anyone would want to do it long if they werent making money at it. A lot of effort goes into caring for puppies and their mother.
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Old 06-18-2009, 10:26 AM
 
4,267 posts, read 5,307,773 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mearth View Post
Responsible = NOT breeding AT ALL.

We don't need anymore homeless animals.
exactly!
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Old 06-18-2009, 10:37 AM
 
Location: Visitation between Wal-Mart & Home Depot
8,309 posts, read 34,386,059 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mearth View Post
Responsible = NOT breeding AT ALL.

We don't need anymore homeless animals.
This seems like an unreasonable knee-jerk to me. A "responsible breeder" is going to be as careful about placing their dogs as a saavy purchaser would be about selecting a "responsible breeder". A breeder who loves his or her dogs, is competent and truly believes in improving the line is not going to be on the hook for homeless animals.

What we don't need any more of are unsophisticated, irresponsible owners. That's really where homeless animals, problem animals and stupid legislation comes from.

Last edited by jimboburnsy; 06-18-2009 at 10:49 AM..
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Old 06-18-2009, 10:48 AM
 
Location: Visitation between Wal-Mart & Home Depot
8,309 posts, read 34,386,059 times
Reputation: 7083
Quote:
Originally Posted by Niftybergin View Post
3) Insist on keeping the puppies with their mother until 12 weeks of age. Most people sell the puppies at 8 weeks, but those additional 4 weeks with their mother and littermate help teach the puppies a lot about bite inhibition, etc. Mama-dog is often a MUCH better teacher of acceptable and unacceptable behavior than a human who doesn't read or understand or know dog body language, etc.
I would agree with your points, but I take mild exception to the above as there are some good reasons for moving puppies to their new homes at 8 weeks. At twelve weeks a pecking order has been established - dominant dogs have had that personality trait reinforced and the more submissive dogs have had low-rank ingrained. It isn't always the case, but I think you can take a naturally demuring animal and turn it into a secure and confident dog by removing it from the mother and littermates a bit earlier. It gets trickier later on. 8 weeks is enough to mold the dog's identity (which is to say the dog understands that it is, in fact, a dog) but not enough to cement an understanding of rank. That said, you do have to train more bite inhibition yourself with puppies pulled that early.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Niftybergin View Post
6) Don't breed dogs that don't fit the standard -- physically OR temperamentally. If the breed standard is a certain weight and height and your dog is just a little taller or shorter, don't breed the dog. If the breed standard is relaxed and friendly and your dog is aloof and bad-tempered, don't breed the dog.
I would agree if you are talking about a show/companion line (e.g., no such thing as a "teacup chihuahua"), but I've met some very well pedigreed and "lifetime achievement award" working dogs that would be disqualified in the show-ring for certain non-conformations. At some point I think that function is more important than form.
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Old 06-18-2009, 10:57 AM
 
Location: Chicago
6,021 posts, read 13,539,714 times
Reputation: 8045
Quote:
Originally Posted by Niftybergin View Post

6) Don't breed dogs that don't fit the standard -- physically OR temperamentally. If the breed standard is a certain weight and height and your dog is just a little taller or shorter, don't breed the dog. If the breed standard is relaxed and friendly and your dog is aloof and bad-tempered, don't breed the dog.
I agree w/ all your points except for this. IMHO, breeding strictly to standards is the thing that have ruined many purebred breeds. many breeders take it too far so that you have bulldogs w/ dangerously short muzzles and heads so massive pregnant females often require C-sections; you have GSDs w/ ridiculously sloped hindquarters that makes it hard for them to run; you have breeders killing off Rhodesian Ridgeback puppies that are born w/o the ridge.

primary concern should be sound physical health and temperament. but, IMHO, I would rather see a slightly imperfect GSD (ie, too tall, too short, born w/ a patch of white on its chest, etc) w/ sound health that can still do the job it was bred to do being bred than a GSD that completely adheres to standards and is a champion show dog but has a crazy sloped back that makes it inadequate to herd. not to say a dog can't excel in both field and ring, and there are breeders w/ dogs w/ multiple titles, but these dogs seem to be in the minority

for the reasons above, many breeds have two groups of breeders: show breeders who breed to standards so they can win in the ring, and hobby/field breeders who breed dogs that can actually perform the tasks they were bred to do. a field Labrador retriever may not fit the AKC standards perfectly, but may be a champion field retriever and is of sound health so is worthy of being bred

there are a lot of champion show dogs w/ health problems, many of them exacerbated by breeders who are more concerned w/ breeding to standards than overall health of the dog and the breed. google "pedigree exposed" and see that many of those breeders, even if they have champion dogs, are really no better than some BYBs w/ little concern for health

ETA: hah, looks like jim beat me to it! but yeah, a lot of working dogs would never win in the ring but excel in their line of work so can be bred, provided, of course, the breeder is reputable and the dog is healthy
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Old 06-18-2009, 11:14 AM
 
Location: St. Louis, Missouri
9,354 posts, read 16,827,643 times
Reputation: 11463
Quote:
Originally Posted by Niftybergin View Post
For me, it would be this:

1) Don't breed animals with close family lineages. (No siblings, parent/offspring, etc.)

2) Do genetic testing on the dogs you're going to breed to ensure that they don't have any of the conditions that are "common" for your breed. Things like hip dysplasia and eye issues. Don't breed dogs that HAVE these conditions. (In the case of my dog's breed, I'm especially concerned about epilepsy, which is increasingly common amongst Siberian Huskies.)

3) Insist on keeping the puppies with their mother until 12 weeks of age. Most people sell the puppies at 8 weeks, but those additional 4 weeks with their mother and littermate help teach the puppies a lot about bite inhibition, etc. Mama-dog is often a MUCH better teacher of acceptable and unacceptable behavior than a human who doesn't read or understand or know dog body language, etc.

4) Interview your prospective buyers to ensure that your animals are going to a good home. Specifically, ascertain that the family is aware of the cost of dog ownership, has experience with dogs (or the drive to learn about training, etc.). If you have a breed with a strong personality -- like Rotties or GSDs or Siberian Huskies or Great Danes or whatever -- then try to ascertain if your buyer has done their homework on the breed. All breeds AREN'T the same. Someone who goes to buy a German Shepherd Dog expecting it to behave or interact like a Labrador Retriever is starting off on the wrong foot.

5) Make the buyer sign a contract that indicates that if they have to give the dog up for whatever reason, they'll first contact the breeder before giving the dog to a shelter or whatever.

6) Don't breed dogs that don't fit the standard -- physically OR temperamentally. If the breed standard is a certain weight and height and your dog is just a little taller or shorter, don't breed the dog. If the breed standard is relaxed and friendly and your dog is aloof and bad-tempered, don't breed the dog.

7) Allow the prospective buyers to see the parents of the dog they're buying. Provide prospective buyers with a contact list of other people who have bought dogs from you in the past, so that the buyer can reach out to those people with inquiries about the dog's temperament and health issues.


Quote:
Originally Posted by 2mares View Post
I dont know why anyone would want to do it long if they werent making money at it. A lot of effort goes into caring for puppies and their mother.
i think it has been mentioned in a couple of places that this is an expensive hobby that is gotten into for the love of the breed ..... not something responsible breeders undertake as a means to supplement income.....

Quote:
Originally Posted by eevee View Post
I agree w/ all your points except for this. IMHO, breeding strictly to standards is the thing that have ruined many purebred breeds. many breeders take it too far so that you have bulldogs w/ dangerously short muzzles and heads so massive pregnant females often require C-sections; you have GSDs w/ ridiculously sloped hindquarters that makes it hard for them to run; you have breeders killing off Rhodesian Ridgeback puppies that are born w/o the ridge.

primary concern should be sound physical health and temperament. but, IMHO, I would rather see a slightly imperfect GSD (ie, too tall, too short, born w/ a patch of white on its chest, etc) w/ sound health that can still do the job it was bred to do being bred than a GSD that completely adheres to standards and is a champion show dog but has a crazy sloped back that makes it inadequate to herd. not to say a dog can't excel in both field and ring, and there are breeders w/ dogs w/ multiple titles, but these dogs seem to be in the minority

for the reasons above, many breeds have two groups of breeders: show breeders who breed to standards so they can win in the ring, and hobby/field breeders who breed dogs that can actually perform the tasks they were bred to do. a field Labrador retriever may not fit the AKC standards perfectly, but may be a champion field retriever and is of sound health so is worthy of being bred

there are a lot of champion show dogs w/ health problems, many of them exacerbated by breeders who are more concerned w/ breeding to standards than overall health of the dog and the breed. google "pedigree exposed" and see that many of those breeders, even if they have champion dogs, are really no better than some BYBs w/ little concern for health

ETA: hah, looks like jim beat me to it! but yeah, a lot of working dogs would never win in the ring but excel in their line of work so can be bred, provided, of course, the breeder is reputable and the dog is healthy

there are a couple of gsd's like this at the dog park we go to .... what a shame..... they just don't look right........
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Old 06-18-2009, 12:16 PM
 
Location: Santa Barbara CA
4,713 posts, read 10,173,374 times
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There are alot of great points here that I agree with. To me one of the most important things a responsible breeder can do is to understand genetics. Take a class and learn what genetics are all about and apply it to your breeding! For dogs with merle coats that means no merle to merle breedings ( homozygous merles are a huge pet peeve of mine as it could all be prevented!) No breeding of dogs with genetic health OR temperment issues. Strive to improve the breed not just put puppies out there. Be selective when finding homes for your pups don't just hand one over for the money. So many breeds have been ruined because people do not understand what they are doing and put little thought into choosing which dogs to breed together. Years ago I read that 64 health issues in dogs exist because we created the problems by how we breed dogs. and what some breed for , looks instead of function. It may be higher then 64 by now. Such a shame and we the dog owners too often pay the price in all the vet bills some of these dogs have and the heart break too often involved.

There are alot of things that make a breeder a responsible breeder but understanding genetics is way up on that list for me.
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Old 06-18-2009, 12:56 PM
 
3,627 posts, read 12,815,003 times
Reputation: 2698
I would also agree - lot of great points and I particularly appreciate eevee's point of view on showing. What seems to happen to so many standards is the fucntion behind the standard is lost and someone's "artistic" interpretation of that standard is replaced to result in a dog that can not function as it should. Believe it or not the "floating side gait" of the show GSD has absolutely nothing to do with herding and the wobbly rear ends and flopping pasters of same show GSDs is absoutely inefficient - these dogs are not stable on uneven surfaces!

I would also say the standard is important but not so important that an otherwise excellent specimen with some deviation should not be considered. Many of the fine Czech GSDs [who are only bred for work and are repopulating some of the police departments who started dropping GSDs altogether for Malinois] out there today have lighter eyes than the standard specifies, and the standard there had no health reasons behind that requirement, but they "match" the face that goes with a dark sable coat. Were the lighter eyes due to a deficiency of pigment in the overall dog, then that would be more of a fault...........I would be much more concerned about somewhat floppy ears, not because ears are that important but because many believe loose ears may be a sign of loose connective tissues throughout the dog. I guess what I am saying there is that the standard needs to be taken in context of what is and is not important to produce the dog meeting the original intent of the breed.

There is also WAAAAY too much inbreeding and linebreeding. Sure it fixes type but at what expense? I think there should be limits on how many litters a male can sire.

There is also a lot of trickery - testicle implants, making ears stand that won't naturally, color tricks [e.g., potassium permanganate], dental work, selective trimming, etc.

Last edited by grannynancy; 06-18-2009 at 01:09 PM..
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